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Old 09-13-09, 10:13 PM   #1
HillyBiker
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new chain for old MTB?

I have a 1995 Diamondback Apex that I recently resurrected & have turned into a commuter with Conti Travel Contact tires, fenders and a rear rack. I added some good CREE LED lighting too, some of it improvised. I thought I would only commute on it occasionally but now I try to use the bike every day; I love it!

The components are Shimano Deore LX, again from the mid '90s. It has 3 chainrings and 8 cogs. I would like to replace the chain with the appropriate type but I don't know what to shop for since the drivetrain is so old. I would like the new chain to have the "insta link" or "master link" design but I don't know if that is compatible with the old Shimano gears.

How do I find the right chain, and how do I know if a master-link chain will work? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-14-09, 04:17 AM   #2
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Go for a SRAM model for 8 speed. All the SRAM chains have a 'power link'. Good and cheap.
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Old 09-14-09, 04:31 AM   #3
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be carefull that the cogs might be worn and your chain may slip.

Its difficult to make out if theres wear. As the cogs will have some teeth that are smaller, to help gear change. run your fingers over the cogs. If theres a ridge where the chain has compressed the cog tooth. Or the teeth tips are very sharp. You may need to replace the cassette and the chainrings.
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Old 09-14-09, 05:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
Go for a SRAM model for 8 speed. All the SRAM chains have a 'power link'. Good and cheap.
6, 7 and 8sp chains are basically the same. SRAM, as noted, are great chains. Good luck
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Old 09-14-09, 07:35 AM   #5
HillyBiker
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Do I need to worry about how long the new chain is, i.e. are MTB chains a standard length or number of links?

Sorry to sound so dumb but I've never had to deal with these details before. I'm trying to get up to speed and be able to keep my bike going on my own. A local cycling pro who builds bikes has a "beginner bike mechanic" seminar in November that I'll be attending.
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Old 09-14-09, 07:39 AM   #6
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You'll need to size the chain to fit and that's a perfect project for a "beginner bike mechanic" course.
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Old 09-14-09, 11:35 AM   #7
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Do I need to worry about how long the new chain is, i.e. are MTB chains a standard length or number of links?
The general advice is that a really worn chain requires replacing the rear cassette (the rear gear cluster) at the same time. Other wise the chain tends to slip, which is rather annoying and sometimes dangerous.

SRAM makes a good 6/7/8 speed chain. You'll need a chain breaker tool to break the old chain open, and then adjust the new chain to the same number of links.
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